Gassendi-Descartes Paper

Gassendi-Descartes Paper - Gassendi-Descartes Disagreement...

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Gassendi-Descartes Disagreement Gassendi and Descartes aren’t necessarily disagreeing upon the fact of existence, but the fact of whether “I think” is the important factor that determines something’s existence. Descartes believes “I think” is the underlying principle of existence, as thought is the only certain thing. Gassendi believes if something acts, then it has to exist. Descartes responds by applying Gassendi’s belief to a dream sequence. Dreaming that one is walking does not mean one is actually walking, just because the action occurring is walking. The central issue here, is what defines existence? Is “I think” really that important? Or does everything exist by actions alone? In defense to Descartes, there is something significant about the “I think.” One cannot say something exists based purely on its actions. There are always times when an action does not actually exist; just the thought of the act happening exists. Aside from the dream sequence, imagination holds Descartes belief in favor. Children often use their
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This essay was uploaded on 03/19/2008 for the course PHL 301 taught by Professor Bonevac during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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Gassendi-Descartes Paper - Gassendi-Descartes Disagreement...

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